The cost to build a traditional pergola roof usually sits between $2,200 and $5,900, or $4,000 on average. You could spend as little as $1,300 on a basic build while you may pay as much as $10,000 for a custom design outdoor living space.

It’s important to understand the distinction between a pergola, an arbor, and a trellis because the terms are often used interchangeably and the difference reflects not only in the structure but also in its price tag.
Furthmore an arbor, which is basically a smaller version of a pergola, can be found for as little as $125 on major seller websites. Adding a trellis, which is simply a vertical structure meant for trailing plants, typically costs between $30 and $200.

A pergola is the largest of the three freestanding structures for your yard. Also if you’re willing to build a pergola yourself, you can save a great deal of money. In addition an attractive cedar pergola with simple DIY instructions can be purchased from big-box stores for around $1,300. But if you want a professionally installed pergola made of premium materials like wood pergola or vinyl pergola, it can easily cost upwards of $10,000.

NOTE: The beginning half of 2021 has seen an unprecedented labor shortage as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with this, demand for materials and construction jobs has skyrocketed. As a result, material prices may be higher than those reported in this article, and lead times may be longer than usual for both labor and materials. 

Average Cost$4000
Highest Cost$10,000
Lowest Cost$1,300

Despite the surge in the use of alternative materials like PVC, vinyl, and even aluminum, the majority of pergolas seen today are still made of wood. Cedar is the most common type of wood used, likely due to its beautiful color and natural resistance to rot and insect infestation.

If you’re considering pergola material costs, start by thinking about what type of aesthetic you want. Your chosen design will help you narrow down which material is best for you. Here’s a guide to choosing the best pergola material for you, along with a breakdown of the custom pergola cost using each one.


Strong and rot-resistant, cedar is the perfect building material for a pergola. It takes stain well, but it does require some maintenance each year in the form of sanding and staining. The rafters and stringers on wood pergolas, such as those made from cedar, can be carved into intricate designs at the ends to create a unique look that fits with the aesthetic you want.


Pressure-treated pine is one of the most common materials for woodworking, and a pergola made of pine will be a bit cheaper than one made of cedar. Pine is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage, but it is a softwood, meaning it’s susceptible to splitting, cracking, and denting as years pass. Regular sanding and staining are critical to extending the life of a pine pergola.


When it comes to the cost of building a pergola, choosing a premium material like teak, ipe or tigerwood will definitely increase the price. But these woods can last up to four times as long as pine.


Aluminum makes a great medium for a boxy, modern pergola. It requires much less maintenance than wood and can be painted to match any decor. According to Fixr, an aluminum pergola is less expensive than a wooden one.


Easy to maintain and exceptionally strong, fiberglass pergolas are among today’s most coveted. The lightweight material allows for larger coverage without adding more support beams.

This material easily lends itself to adding convenient extras like light fixtures, fans, and even heating components. Fiberglass pergolas tend to be pricier than just about any other type of pergola.

Pergola MaterialCost Per Square Foot
Cedar$25 – $35
Pine$20 – $30
Aluminum$10 – $30

Pergola Cost Per Square Foot

You can build or install a pergola in virtually any size you’d like, and it can be freestanding or attached to your home. Most pergolas are square or rectangular simply due to the design, which consists of rafters and support beams.

Of course, for custom pergola designs, you’ll pay more. For a pergola cost estimator, it’s easier to project prices for a square pergola. For that reason, we’ve put together a chart of pergola installation costs for four different square pergola sizes.

Estimates are based on cedarwood, one of the most popular materials used to build pergolas today, at an average cost of $30 per square foot.

Pergola SizePergola Installation Cost
8 x 8$2,000
10 x 10$3,000
12 x 12$4,350
20 x 20$12,000

Pergola Roof Options

A roof or cover over your pergola adds an element of protection to your structure and allows you to extend your use and enjoyment of it since you’ll be largely protected from the elements.

If you’re considering the cost of adding some sort of roofing or protective cover to your pergola installation, we’ve listed some popular options below, along with the average cost of a pergola with each type of roof.

Retractable Roof Cost

If you already have a pergola, you can add a mechanized retractable roof to it, allowing you to cover or uncover your pergola at the touch of a button. It’s an incredibly convenient feature when you’re trying to relax in your outdoor space.

Most retractable pergola roofs we found are made of cloth material. Here’s what you can expect to pay if you want to add a retractable roof to your pergola. Cost estimates are based on a 100-square-foot pergola.

Average Cost to Build a Pergola Retractable Roof

Materials$315 – $330
Labor$150 – $165
Cost per square foot$4.50


A louvered roof for a pergola consists of a series of horizontal slats that can be adjusted at a 180-degree angle to keep out rain and sun. Louvers are typically made of metal and add a premium touch to your outdoor space.

Many of today’s hottest restaurants are opting for louvered roofing over their outdoor eating spaces to provide diners with the best possible outdoor ambiance. A fully installed louvered pergola roof costs about $85 per square foot.


The least expensive option for covering a pergola from the elements is a simple cloth pergola cover. A cloth pergola typically falls under DIY pergola costs, and you can find a basic one that fits a 10-foot pergola for around $180 online at big box stores.

Pergola Design Ideas


Sleek and boxy, today’s modern pergola is the pinnacle of outdoor living. A black aluminum frame mirrored by black louvered roofing creates the perfect modern aesthetic. Or for a more industrial look, the stone columns of a concrete pergola are reminiscent of ancient Greece and Egypt’s earliest outdoor living spaces.


A spacious, white pergola with flowy curtains is the perfect accompaniment for an upscale poolside environment. You can paint a wooden pergola white or opt to use a longer-lasting material like vinyl.


Return to nature by opting for a pergola made from reclaimed wooden beams. Then trail vines across the top for a beautiful, rustic vibe. This pergola setup is perfect for outdoor dining or relaxing under the stars while enjoying wonderful floral aromas from the vines.


City Porches ™ Inc is starting to fill up our calendar for Spring 2023 with customized composite projects, such as rooftop decks and pergolas. working with a variety of composite brands and tier’s. Our company is preparing to reserve inventory for this upcoming season. Such brands include Fortress, Fiberon, TimberTek, UltraTech and Trex. Check out our customizing form and receive a free estimate!


How much does a porch cost in Chicago?

Updating an older porch to meet the current Chicago building code can be expensive, with costs ranging from over \$15,000 for a smaller 2 or 3 flat to more than \$30,000 for larger buildings with multiple porch systems, such as 6 flats or more. This information was last updated on January 19, 2023.

how much should a pergola cost

The cost of a pergola depends on many factors, such as the type of material used, the size of the structure and whether it is pre-made or DIY. Generally speaking, vinyl pergolas tend to be more affordable than solid roof models while aluminum pergolas are usually more expensive. If you choose to go with a DIY pergola kit, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the size. If you decide to build your own pergola from scratch, then the cost will largely depend on the materials used and how much labor is involved. All in all, vinyl pergolas tend to be the most cost-effective option, while aluminum pergolas are the most expensive. Ultimately, the cost of your pergola will depend on your unique requirements and budget.

What is the difference between a porch and a patio?

Porches and patios are both outdoor spaces commonly used for relaxing, entertaining, and socializing. Porches are typically attached to a home or building and provide an extended living space that is usually covered with a roof and enclosed in some way. Porches can come in different forms such as city porches, open porches, sleeping porches, and screened porches. Patios, on the other hand, are separate from a home or building and are typically not covered with a roof. They are often made of stone, concrete, gravel, pavers, or bricks and may include features such as fire pits and seating areas.

What are the benefits of having a porch?

Having a porch can be a great addition to any house. Porches provide an extra layer of privacy, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about being disturbed by cars or passersby. They also create a sense of cohesion between the interior and exterior of your home, making it feel like one complete space.


How much does it cost to repair a pergola?

The pergola repair cost will depend on the extent of the damage, as well as the material used to build it. Generally speaking, repairs can range from a few hundred dollars for minor repairs to several thousand dollars for extensive repairs or complete replacement. It is important to consult an expert in order to get an accurate estimate of repair costs. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a new pergola than to repair the existing one.




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